We at SBC Voices are thankful for the work of the Executive Committee in compiling the report on the progress of racial reconciliation in the SBC. We believe this report deserves a wide readership and thoughtful reflection and are thankful for Executive Board chairman, Michael Routt, for permission to post the report here. The following is the full text of the report as found in Southern Baptist Convention Bulletin, Tuesday part 2, 92nd vol., June 16-17, 2015. Skip to "Summary and Findings" Skip to Recommendations ____________ A Review of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Progress on … [Read more...] about A Review of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Progress on Racial Reconciliation, 1995–2015 (Full Text) #SBC15
A New Day in the SBC: Real progress toward Racial/Ethnic unity #sbc15
Wow, what an amazing day at the SBC yesterday! In the morning I started with mixed emotions. On the one hand I felt positive about the direction of our denomination. I was thankful for both the substantive Executive Committee Report on Racial Reconciliation, and for my friend Alan Cross who brought the task force motion to the floor last year and followed through throughout the year. On the other, I was frustrated by what some of what I saw in the report, namely, the slowness of the progress we’d made toward shared leadership with our non-Anglo brothers. While the report had several helpful … [Read more...] about A New Day in the SBC: Real progress toward Racial/Ethnic unity #sbc15
A Reconciliation Recommendation (a motion that would be out of order, but we should do it anyway) #SBC15
If you are at the Convention this year, don't miss the Task Force report on the SBC's progress on Racial Reconciliation on page 2 of part 2 of the daily bulletin. I have always been appreciative of a denomination where a single messenger has a voice and any messenger can initiate and be part of the process in the workings of our denomination. Our ability as messengers is limited, though, as many find out each year as their motions are ruled out of order. Similarly, reports are just reports, resolutions are just resolutions, and though either may contain helpful recommendations and action … [Read more...] about A Reconciliation Recommendation (a motion that would be out of order, but we should do it anyway) #SBC15
A Model for Charitable Theological Discussion: 4 Take-Aways
As long as there are Southern Baptists, there will be disagreements about doctrine. The Baptist Faith and Message unifies us around a common core of gospel imperatives and Baptist distinctives. At the same time, our statement of faith allows for a variety of views on important aspects of church practice, eschatology and soteriology. Because of our common faith, we partner together in Great Commission work. Because we disagree on important issues like election and the atonement, we have the potential for conflict and division that threatens that cooperative spirit. While there will always be … [Read more...] about A Model for Charitable Theological Discussion: 4 Take-Aways
The real question about the future of SBC missions
This past week, the IMB trustees adopted revised policies for personnel and shared their intent to empower "limitless teams of missionaries to make disciples and multiply churches among unreached people." Part of the impact of the move was that it reversed previous policies including those enacted a decade ago that controversially narrowed the doctrinal parameters of those who could serve with the IMB. But the IMB’s president has hinted that these personnel policies have much more in mind than reversing controversial policies. Platt and our trustees are aiming at a bigger goal -- increasing … [Read more...] about The real question about the future of SBC missions
The IMB Personnel Policies — Personal Reflections on a decade of debate
Since hearing the report from the IMB trustees yesterday, I have done a good bit of reflecting about how the IMB policy on baptism affected me personally and shaped me as I actively engaged in Baptist life. I cannot fully describe the feelings I have about this important change or what this means to me personally. I have long believed that our mission boards ought to represent all the churches in fellowship with the Convention. If a church's requirements are in line with the consensus of Baptist beliefs (i.e., the BFM 2000) they should be allowed to serve and not denied by the additional … [Read more...] about The IMB Personnel Policies — Personal Reflections on a decade of debate
Can you be a witness for Christ in the midst of your trial?
In 2 Timothy 4, Paul tells Timothy to preach the word “in season and out of season” and to “do the work of an evangelist.” He instructs his young mentee to preach the gospel at all times, no matter the situation or circumstance. As I post this from a hospital room where my wife is being treated for cancer, I think one of the times that often feels “out of season” is in the midst of adversity. When we are facing uncertainty, pain, grief, and all the things associated with trials, the last thing I’m thinking about is preaching the word. And yet, I find that God gives me tremendous … [Read more...] about Can you be a witness for Christ in the midst of your trial?
One more post about Ferguson — Why this event DOES raise important issues about race and why that matters to me
Last night I was invited to speak at a small rally in Gary, Indiana in solidarity with the people of Ferguson, Missouri. The following are my remarks at that event: If will allow me tonight, I want to speak both as a white man and as a pastor. A recent PEW research poll demonstrates that Whites have different views than African-Americans on whether or not the shooting raises important issues about race. I first heard about the shooting two Sunday mornings ago on facebook. While my white friends were talking about the deaths of a NASCAR driver and a famous comedian, my … [Read more...] about One more post about Ferguson — Why this event DOES raise important issues about race and why that matters to me
Will White Christians Hear and Stand with Our Black Brothers?
In my previous article I asked a pointed question: when it comes to tragedies in the African-American communities, will we weep with those who weep? I want to go a bit further in this post. This is an intensely difficult piece for me to write. I am not African-American and will never fully understand what it means to be black in America. But I truly believe that a desire for unity in the body of Christ should compel us to seek to listen to the experiences of our African-American brothers. We must seek to understand their concerns, and find common ground from which we as fellow believers can … [Read more...] about Will White Christians Hear and Stand with Our Black Brothers?
Why do they weep alone?
“Weep with those who weep” – Romans 12:15 We evangelicals love social media and we loves causes. We use social media to raise awareness, stand in solidarity, comfort the grieving, and call others to prayer. In recent days, the evangelical blogosphere has taken up the cause of Iraqi children on the other side of the globe, the plight of refugees at the Mexican border, and the victims of mental illness who have taken their own lives. When it comes to another equally significant tragedy, however, we hear nothing. A deafening silence. A national news story, an unarmed young black man has been … [Read more...] about Why do they weep alone?